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Don't Forget To Thank God

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The message of this story is timeless. ‘They huddled inside the storm door—two children in ragged, oversized coats. “Any old papers, lady?” I was busy. I wanted to say no—until I saw their feet.

Little sandals sopped with sleet. “Come in and I’ll make you some hot cocoa.” There was no conversation.

Their soggy sandals left marks on the hearthstone. I served them cocoa with toast and jam to fortify them against the chill outside. Then I went back to the kitchen to work on my household budget. The silence in the front room struck through me. I looked in.

The little girl held the empty cup in her hands and looked at it. The boy asked, “Lady, are you rich?” I looked at my shabby slipcovers. “Am I rich? Mercy, no!” The girl put the cup in its saucer—carefully. “Your cups match your saucers.” Her voice was old with a hunger not of the stomach.

They then left, holding their bundles of paper against the wind. They hadn’t said thank you. They didn’t need to—they’d done more than that. Much more. Plain blue pottery cups and saucers, but they matched. Potatoes in brown gravy; a roof over our heads; my man with a good steady job—these things matched, too.

I moved the chairs back from the fire and tidied the living room.

The muddy prints of small sandals were still wet on my hearth. I let them be. I want them there in case I ever forget how rich I am!’

The word for you today is: Don’t forget to thank God.

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